1. Cherie
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    Cherie Member

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    Can you legally mention organizations & brands?

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Cherie, Oct 21, 2010.

    Hello,

    I'm a new member. I have written a book on garage sales, and mentioned 3 organizations in it: Ebay, Goodwill, and Craig's List. These are given as places to buy and sell products, nothing negative or detrimental. I also mentioned 2 brand names: Beanie Babies and Longaberger baskets, simply as nice items to sell.

    The book is finished, but has not been published.. I am concerned about the legality of mentioning these names. I can take them out, but it will make things difficult as the names are important references.

    I have written both Ebay and Craig's List requesting permission to mention their names, and gave them the context, reason, and the exact wording that mentions the names. Neither of them answered me. It has been months.

    Can I legally mention the names, or find myself in hot water if I do?

    Any information would be greatly appreciated.

    Cherie
     
  2. w176
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    w176 Contributing Member Contributor

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    There is a lot of old threads on the subject that will give you an excellent answer, but short answer is:

    Yes, as long as you don't slander them.
     
  3. Cherie
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    Cherie Member

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    Hello, W176,

    Thank you so much for the information!

    I tried to search the forum before I posted my question, but evidently I was not using the right search words, as the search results kept coming back that nothing was found.

    Thank you again!

    Cherie
     
  4. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Actually, it's libel, not slander. Slander is defamation in speech, libel is defamation in writing. Other than that, w176 is correct. The subject has been covered very often, and you can mention trademarked names as long as you do not defame them.

    (In some countries other than the United States, the restrictions may be stronger in some cases. I have heard rumors of a trademark infringement complaint in France regarding the use of the name Eiffel Tower in print, but I cannot confirm the truth of it).
     
  5. w176
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    w176 Contributing Member Contributor

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    Oh. I wasn't aware of that word distinction. Thanks.

    Generally it mostly less strict in most the western world then the US.
     
  6. Banzai
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    Banzai One-time Mod, but on the road to recovery Contributor

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    Actually, the technical difference between slander and libel, is that slander is defamation in a temporary or transient form, whereas libel is defamation in a permanent form.
     
  7. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    That distinction gets a lot blurrier in these days of youtube and viral videos.
     
  8. Cherie
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    Cherie Member

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    Thank you for the response, Cogito. This seems to be a great forum, I had my question answered almost immediately by 2 different members!

    I will definitely be reading more of the interesting forum threads.

    Thank you again,

    Cherie
     

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